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Science at Alston Primary School


Children at Alston Primary School will experience all aspects of Science developed in the Curriculum through Cornestone topics and Love to Investigate investigations.

We aim to provide a high-quality Science education through the  understanding of the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of Science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils will be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomenas. They will be encouraged to understand how Science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.



Understanding the World

The school has adopted the guidance in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation stage (March 2014) and is embedded in the seven areas of learning. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected and will promote children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

ELG The World:

  • Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
  • They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
  • They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.


KS1 & KS2

The school has adopted the model outlined in the Science Curriculum 2014. The programmes of study for Science are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2 and will be completed by the end of the key stage.  Regular review of the curriculum ensures breadth, balance, continuity and relevance to all pupils at Alston.





To achieve this aim at Alston we promise to :

 1.      To create an interest and positive attitude towards Science.

2.       To provide opportunities for children to explore both the physical and biological worlds.


3.       To create an environment in which children learn to use previous knowledge and skills to solve technological problems.


4.       To encourage children to work co-operatively to collect information and exchange ideas to further their investigations.


5.       To provide an environment where children are encouraged to explore and experiment.


6.       To develop manipulative and language skills.


7.       To provide experiences which enable the child to use and become familiar with scientific processes.


8.       To encourage children to acquire information from various sources and to check and compare their findings.


9.       To make the children aware of the environment and to develop enquiring minds.


10.     To encourage children to identify patterns and to seek to explain them.


11.     To set up appropriate investigations which will explain observed patterns.


12.     To train children to become skilled in handling equipment effectively and safely.




Teachers follow the Cornerstones Science planning, Love to Investigate, related to their current topic.  A lot of these topics are Science based e.g. Enchanted Forest, Blue Abyss, Scrundidlyumptious and Blood Heart.

At KS1 the emphasis is on practical and oral work and the development of scientific enquiry (50%). At KS2 the emphasis is still on scientific enquiry but children will develop a range of skills. The plans are reviewed regularly to ensure the topic areas are part of a holistic cross-curricular approach wherever possible. They build upon children’s prior learning as well as develop their skills and knowledge so that children are increasingly challenged as they move through the school.

In order to achieve this at Alston we ensure all pupils are:

  • Working Scientifically (1 experiment per half term through Love to Investigate)
  • Asking questions
  • Recognising questions can be answered in different ways
  • Using a range of equipment
  • Identifying , classifying & grouping
  • Observing over time
  • Gathering data, pattern seeking
  • Comparative & fair testing
  • Research
  • Presenting outcomes


  • Involved in scientific learning and enquiry through purposeful outdoor learning.

This is through EYFS and outdoor play. Also it is through trips e.g. Tame Valley

  • Ensuring progression
  •  Bridging gaps
  •  Differentiation and appropriate challenge to achieve or exceed ‘mastery’ of the programme of study
  • Receiving quality first teaching and assessment
  • Use spoken language:
  • Using relevant scientific language when discussing their ideas and communicating findings.
  • Learn about famous scientists.
  • Application
  • Apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of Science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.
  • Using skills from other disciplines when presenting outcomes.

Cross–Curricular links


The Science units are linked to the Cornerstones curriculum map whenever possible ensuring a cross-curricular approach. Children are encouraged to use their English, Maths and ICT skills whenever possible to present their work.


Information and Computing Technology (ICT)


Children will have opportunities to use a range of ICT resources to support them when:

  • Finding, selecting, and analysing information
  • Recording, presenting and interpreting data e.g. Bar Graphs
  • Reviewing, modifying and evaluating their work
  • Taking measurements e.g. measuring heart beat, time or capacity



  • Reading texts of a scientific nature
  • Discussing what they have learnt
  • Recounting their observations of scientific experiments
  • Present their finding in a variety of ways e.g. reports, newspapers, leaflets, instructions




  • Using weights and measures and applying number
  • Estimating and predicting in investigations
  • Recording, presenting and interpreting



At Alston, we measure the impact throughout each ILP, teachers will monitor pupils' progress in scientific knowledge, understanding and skills by;

  • Observation and questioning
  • Marking of work
  • Discussions with the pupils
  • Learning objectives are identified and a summary judgment for each ILP will be noted for each pupil in relation to these. This information will form the basis of end of term assessment to be passed on to the next teacher.
  • Assessment will be based on lesson objectives and is the responsibility of the class teacher.


The leadership team and Science coordinator will monitor progress by;

  • Regular book trawls
  • Lesson observations
  • Analysis of Cornerstones assessment grids.


Teachers make informal judgments as they observe children during each Science lesson. At the end of a unit of work, the teacher makes a judgement against each objective in terms of ‘Developing ’, ‘Secure’ or ‘Exceeding’. This is recorded using spreadsheets specific to each year group. This information is used to inform future planning and used by the co-ordinator to monitor and help support the subject development.


By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the knowledge, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study detailed in the National Curriculum through Cornerstones ILP and Love to Investigate.